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GMFB Hosts Disagree On NFL Re-Opening Team Facilities

“Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson says teams should begin preparations for the season in some fashion as soon as possible, while Peter Schrager contends that in the interest of fairness, the NFL should wait until all 32 teams can participate at the same level before activities resume.”

Jacob Conley

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The NFL announced that teams can reopen their training facilities beginning Tuesday May 19 as long as they meet state and local guidelines.  The analysts of the NFL Network’s popular morning show, Good Morning Football, are glad to have football back in some capacity, but some worry it could also create inequities between the teams. 

Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson says teams should begin preparations for the season in some fashion as soon as possible, while Peter Schrager contends that in the interest of fairness, the NFL should wait until all 32 teams can participate at the same level before activities resume.

“We got to do what we got to do,” Burleson said. “It (opening) allows us as fans something to talk about. Media personalities can report from the facilities and be able to talk to players.”

Burleson admits that the NFL reopening facilities will be more difficult than the NBA doing the same. Burleson then refers to a conversation he had with his brother Kevin Burleson, who is the player development coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“I know it’s a little bit of a different dynamic,” Burleson said of comparing the two leagues. “But Kevin says they are going to try to have one-on-one sessions between a player and a couch for an hour. That’s two people on the court at the same time and the next player comes in. It’s a lot easier in the NBA because you only have 12 to 15 guys. In the NFL there are 53 guys just on the roster, not counting the free agents who come in this time of year and then the practice squad. The NBA is trying any way it can just to get people in the building. As long as we (the NFL) can just get people in the building, it is such a good sign that things are headed in the right direction.”

While Schrager agrees that opening NFL facilities is a positive he worries that will create inequities between teams that can meet and those who can’t.

“I think about the inequality of it though,” he argues. “A team in New Jersey can’t get into their facility while a team in Denver might be able to. Are we throwing that (fairness) out the window just to, as Nate said, get bodies in the building?”

Kyle Brandt, co-host of Good Morning Football, agrees with Burleson’s view.

“I’ll take the custodial staff in the building to clean the floors,” he said. “It’s baby steps at this point.”

Brandt also encourages viewers to read Peter King’s Football Morning in America column where he interviews new Carolina Panthers’ head coach Matt Rhule. When asked how he is getting through the current situation, Rhule replied, “We just got to figure it out, bro.”

“He (Rhule) has two new coordinators and a quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater who hasn’t even met his receivers,” Brandt said. “He has to address his team through a six minute video on his IPhone. That’s the world we are living in. They have to play Brady and Gronk in the Bucs’ home opener with all these unknowns. I understand trying to be fair and equal to all 32 teams, but some teams like the Panthers need every advantage they can get whether it’s just doing pushups or having lunch together. Football, God willing, is coming and any (practice) availability whatsoever you have to give them.”

Sports TV News

FOX Doubles Ad Price For Premiere US World Cup Matches

FOX has capitalized by charging $600,000 per 30-second commercial during its coverage of USA/England.

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The 2022 World Cup is underway and the opener received a gigantic ratings increase for FOX Sports. Now, according to a report from Front Office Sports, the network has doubled its ad price for the USA match versus England.

USA/England will air in a lucrative window, at 2:00 PM ET on Black Friday, and FOX has capitalized by charging $600,000 per 30-second commercial during its coverage of the match. That price, according to Front Office Sports reporters Michael McCarthy and Doug Greenberg, is double what the network had asked for from advertisers for other matches.

While the event opener saw a sharp increase, the first match featuring the United States saw a decline from previous World Cup openers for the country. 11.71 million watched the match in the US between FOX Sports and Telemundo. In 2014, 11.1 million watched on ESPN and in 2010 13 million watched the first US match on ABC.

Analysists have predicted FOX Sports could garner nearly $125 million in ad revenue for the duration of the tournament.

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Sports TV News

Telemundo’s Miguel Gurwitz Announcing World Cup, NFL Thanksgiving Games For 18 Straight Hours Thursday

With the game expected to end at 2:00 AM local time, that means Gurwitz will be announcing games for over 18 hours on Thursday.

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With the World Cup happening at an unprecedented time, there were bound to be scheduling conflicts. The conflicts for Telemundo’s Miguel Gurwitz, however, might be the real unprecedented nature of the event being played in November.

Gurwitz works on Telemundo’s coverage of the World Cup while calling matches as the secondary play-by-play announcer. Beginning at 11:00 AM in Doha, Gurwitz will work the network’s coverage of the event.

But as the soccer day turns to tonight, Gurwitz will call Telemundo’s broadcast of the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings game from Qatar. With the game expected to end at 2:00 AM local time, that means Gurwitz will be announcing games for over 18 hours on Thursday.

He will also do the feat again on Sunday, as he’ll broadcast World Cup matches for the network during the day and then announce the Packers and Eagles game for Sunday Night Football.

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Sports TV News

Kevin Burkhardt: ‘Honor To Be In People’s Homes’ During Thanksgiving Broadcast

“There were a couple on the calendar that I thought that it might hit me and be very, very cool.”

Ricky Keeler

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On Thanksgiving, Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen will call their first Thanksgiving Day game for FOX when the New York Giants take on the Dallas Cowboys (4:30 PM ET). It’s been a memorable year for Burkhardt and Olsen in their first year as the A broadcast team for FOX that will end in the duo calling the Super Bowl in February.

Burkhardt was a guest on The Season with Peter Schrager podcast this week and talked about the honor of getting the chance to be on the call for a Thanksgiving Day game.

“The whole job is big and we are doing big games every week. There were a couple on the calendar that I thought that it might hit me and be very, very cool. One of them was Dallas-Green Bay, which turned out to be epic a couple of weeks ago.

“The playoffs and the Super Bowl will be great, but Thanksgiving Day. Growing up in a football family, it was kind of eating around both games. Catch the early game, halftime, go throw the football in the street, eat the meal between games, then the Cowboys game comes on, you watch that. Maybe halftime you watch or maybe you throw the football again. Watch the rest of the game, you have dessert after the game. That was the day.

“It is an honor because you are in a lot of people’s homes every week. I feel like you really are in people’s homes…. You are kind of like hugging everybody. I think it’s beyond awesome, I really do.”

Burkhardt mentioned to Schrager that he and Olsen knew they had big shoes to fill after taking over for Joe Buck and Troy Aikman (both now at ESPN) and it felt like walking in to a new job, but the A crew at FOX helped them and he liked that he and Olsen got to do it together.

“It’s been awesome. It really has. When you go into a situation like this, Joe and Troy were there for 2 decades, that’s a long time. People have long-standing relationships. Even though I’ve been at FOX for 9 years and Greg was there last year, we are the new guys essentially.

“You walk in, you don’t know how they are going to react to you, what they are going to think of you, if they think you are any good and all that stuff. From Day 1, it was like welcome to the family, we love you. I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s been awesome. It felt like we’ve just fit right in. I think there’s been some cool symmetry, the fact that Greg and I got to do it together because we have such a bond.

“The fact that we got to jump in together I think has kind of been fun and helped us both because he knows me really well and I know him really well. Then, it was just getting everyone else to know us and vice versa.”

The one thing that Burkhardt did have to adjust to was a different style of show and that each production team has different viewpoint and creativity.

“The crew I’ve been on my whole life with Pete Macheska and Artie Kempner, they do a different show than Z (Richie Zyontz) and Russo (Rich Russo) do it. It’s not good, bad, or indifferent. Everyone has different viewpoints and creativity. I think it was just getting used to each other in terms of that, but it’s felt like I’ve worked with them for 25 years. It’s felt seamless. It’s felt fun.”

Even though Burkhardt is now the lead NFL play-by-play voice for FOX, that doesn’t mean he is going to change how he does a game.

“I’m not going to change my style or who I am. I’m not saying I’m not open to critiques and wanting to get better and to get coached. The basis of what I do and how I do it, I’m not going to change that now because I’m on the A crew. They liked me enough to put me here, so I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. Maybe tweaks here and there, but if I radically changed now, I’d be a moron.” 

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